Tracheostomy Care – Staying Healthy After Your Operation
A tracheostomy is when an opening in the neck, called a stoma, is formed during an operation. This is the new location where air is breathed in and out of the lungs through a tube that is inserted through the hole and partially into the trachea, also known as the windpipe. In people where this operation is not required, air is humidified, filtered and warmed before it enters the lungs. With proper tracheostomy care, this must be mimicked. That is where tracheostomy supplies come into play.
Suction catheters are used to remove secretion or mucus from the stoma. Suction should only occur when necessary, such as when coughing cannot clear the opening of mucus. The catheter is the name of the plastic tube that attaches to a medical suction machine. While suctioning can be performed by the patient themselves, a healthcare provider is usually the person who performs this form of tracheostomy care in the hospital. In situations where patients are being treated in a hospital setting, a new catheter should be used each time. When performed at home, reusing these tracheostomy supplies is often acceptable as long as they are properly cleaned.
To maintain the quality of air you are breathing after your tracheostomy, you need to use a heat and moisture exchanger. The reason this kind of tracheostomy care is important is because without moisturized air, your mucus may become thick, hard, and difficult to cough out. This can block the passage of air and be dangerous. To keep moisture in your airway, drink plenty of water, use a humidifier in your home, particularly at your bedside at night, and use proper tracheostomy supplies like a heat and moisture exchanger.
Tracheostomy tubes feature a part called an inner cannula. This piece is essential to your health after having your operation, so you need to clean it regularly. However, if you choose to purchase disposable inner cannula tracheostomy supplies, do not clean and reuse it, but simply replace it. There are two main types of tracheostomy tubes. One is cuffed, which means it has an inflated cuff attached to it. A seal is created between the trachea and the tube when the cuff is filled with air. There are even different kinds of cuffs that are sold. The other variety of tracheostomy tube is cuffless. You may have been recommended to use either cuffed or cuffless tubes when you first learned about tracheostomy care.